Kingsbury adamant Josh Rosen can run his offense

During the second week in April, Kyler Murray remains simply a draft prospect and Josh Rosen still sits as the Arizona Cardinals starting quarterback.

The tidal wave of assumptions that the Cards will change that dynamic by making Murray the No. 1 overall pick means bupkis at this point.

And so, with the Cardinals opening offseason workouts this week, players and coaches were obviously asked about the dynamic Rosen currently faces as a quarterback -- and therefore assumed team leader -- dancing in limbo.

First up: Coach Kliff Kingsbury, who insists Rosen is athletic enough to run any system, including his NFL-version of the Air Raid.

"I was pretty athletic back in my day," Kingsbury said, via ESPN's Josh Weinfuss. "I was a pocket passer. Josh can move. He can extend plays more than people think. He has a great tennis background, very athletic and you don't have to be a 4.3 guy [in the 40-yard dash]. You just have to be able to move off the spot, keep your eyes downfield and extend the play enough for those guys to uncover, and when you watch the tape, he does a good job of that."

The new coach, who attempted two career passes during his NFL playing days, made sure to point out that Rosen "is a much, much better player than I was."

Rosen, even with his tennis background, will never be an athletic wizard like Murray, who can take off like a thunderbolt if his protection breaks. We saw Rosen's limitations in that regard last season when he got battered and stomped behind a porous O-line to the tune of 45 sacks in 14 games -- an average of 3.2 per contest. Those limitations are one reason there is a pervasive opinion that Murray better fits Kingsbury's offense.

The coach insisted it's his job to tailor the offense to whoever takes the snaps.

"It's our job -- whoever the coordinator is, the coach is -- to build around that guy and make sure you're doing stuff that he can do," Kingsbury said. "If he can run it, [then] do things he's good at running the football. If he's only a dropback passer, you better have concepts to get the ball out of his hand, [that] he knows where his reads are and [can] make quick decisions. The Air Raid, it has that, I guess, give-and-take in it, where you can make adjustments to it and be effective with different styles of play at that position."

While Kingsbury made a case for Rosen fitting in the system, teammates were in the unenviable position of defending their quarterback, which each did adamantly.

"I like Josh," running back David Johnson said, via the Associated Press. "I don't know. I mean, it's a business, and we all know that...

"I told him, 'ignore (the noise).' I definitely figured out how to ignore it, and I know he has, too. We don't really know what's going on and what they're talking about with the draft, so come ready to play, learn the playbook and let the chips fall."

Safety Budda Baker: "Josh is here. He's always been that great player. He's always been first (to arrive at the facility). That's how he's always been."

And finally, pass rusher Chandler Jones: "He was good at grabbing everyone's attention. He's a leader for sure."

With Rosen not meeting the media on Tuesday, the job to defend him fell to his teammates. They showed universal backing. Whether that dynamic shifts gears will be determined April 25 on the stage on the NFL Draft, when the Cardinals make the No. 1 overall selection official. At that point, maybe teammates will have to back a different QB.

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